Loading...

Earlier Cardiac Rehab Program Shows Benefits for Heart Failure Patients

May 19, 2021 by Alexa Hornbeck

An innovative cardiac rehabilitation intervention started earlier and more custom-tailored to the individual improved physical function, frailty, quality-of-life, and depression in hospitalized heart failure patients, compared to traditional rehabilitation programs. Supported by the National Institute on Aging, part of the National institutes of Health, these new study results were published May 16 in the New England Journal of Medicine and also presented at the American College of Cardiology’s 70th Annual Scientific Session.

“Designing earlier and more personalized individual-specific approaches to heart failure rehab shows great promise for improving outcomes for this common but complex condition that is one of the leading causes of hospitalization for older adults,” said NIA Director Richard J. Hodes, M.D. 

For this new study, a research team led by Dalane W. Kitzman, M.D., professor of cardiovascular medicine and geriatrics/gerontology at Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem,N.C., followed 349 clinical trial participants with heart failure enrolled in “A Trial of Rehabilitation Therapy in Older Acute Heart Failure Patients”. Participants had an average of five comorbidities — diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, lung disease or kidney disease — that also contributed to loss of physical function.

In an earlier pilot study, Kitzman and his colleagues at Duke University, Durham,N.C., and the Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, Pa., found striking deficits in strength, mobility and balance, along with the expected loss of endurance in older patients with acute heart failure, the vast majority of whom were categorized as frail or pre-frail. The team decided to focus on improving patients’ physical function, which was already weakened by chronic heart failure and age.

The REHAB-HF team designed earlier and more customized exercise programs that emphasized improving balance, strength, mobility and endurance. They also began REHAB-HF during a patient’s hospital stay when feasible instead of waiting until the traditional six weeks after discharge. After release from the hospital, the study participants shifted to outpatient sessions three times per week for three months.

Compared to a control group that received usual cardiac rehab care, REHAB-HF participants showed marked gains in measures of physical functioning and overall quality of life, including significant progress in Short Physical Performance Battery, a series of tests to evaluate lower extremity function and mobility, and a six-minute walk test. They also had notable improvements in self-perception of their health status and depression surveys compared to pre-trial baselines. More than 80 percent of REHAB-HF participants reported they were still doing their exercises six months after completing their participation in the study.

The study did not show significant differences in related clinical events including rates of hospital readmission for any reason or for heart-failure related rehospitalizations. The research team plans to further explore that and other issues through future expansions of REHAB-HF into larger and longer-term trials with broader participant subgroups.

Health

October 20, 2021
by Dan McCue
FDA Signs Off on Moderna, J&J Boosters, Mixing Vaccines

WASHINGTON - The Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday said Americans who got either the Moderna or Johnson & Johnson... Read More

WASHINGTON - The Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday said Americans who got either the Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccine can now get a COVID-19 booster, and also say that those eligible for a booster don’t have to get the same brand as their initial... Read More

October 20, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck
EPA Accelerates Efforts to Clean Up PFAS Pollution

This week, the Environmental Protection Agency released a new roadmap to accelerate efforts to protect Americans from per- and polyfluoroalkyl... Read More

This week, the Environmental Protection Agency released a new roadmap to accelerate efforts to protect Americans from per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, a class of toxic chemicals found in food packaging and other common commercial products that can cause severe health problems. "We are exploring ways for... Read More

October 20, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck
Developer of Gene Editing Tool Discusses Ethics of Emerging Treatments

It was only nine years ago that researchers discovered a method for editing human genes using a specialized technology called... Read More

It was only nine years ago that researchers discovered a method for editing human genes using a specialized technology called the CRISPR-Cas9 tool.   CRISPR-Cas9 enables geneticists and medical researchers to edit parts of the genome by removing, adding or altering sections of the DNA sequence.  Ethicists,... Read More

October 20, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck
Middle-Aged Women at Higher Risk of ‘Broken Heart’ Syndrome

LOS ANGELES - A new study from researchers from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center appears to confirm what many have long argued:... Read More

LOS ANGELES - A new study from researchers from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center appears to confirm what many have long argued: That a “broken heart” really can lead to long-term heart injury. “We know from other studies the heart-brain connection is very strong, but this is one... Read More

White House Details Plans to Vaccinate 28M Children Age 5-11

WASHINGTON (AP) — Children age 5 to 11 will soon be able to get a COVID-19 shot at their pediatrician's... Read More

WASHINGTON (AP) — Children age 5 to 11 will soon be able to get a COVID-19 shot at their pediatrician's office, local pharmacy and potentially even their school, the White House said Wednesday as it detailed plans for the expected authorization of the Pfizer shot for... Read More

Pig-to-Human Transplants Come a Step Closer with New Test

Scientists temporarily attached a pig's kidney to a human body and watched it begin to work, a small step in... Read More

Scientists temporarily attached a pig's kidney to a human body and watched it begin to work, a small step in the decades-long quest to one day use animal organs for life-saving transplants. Pigs have been the most recent research focus to address the organ shortage, but... Read More

News From The Well
Exit mobile version